Yesterday, we told you about the literal countdown to the IKEA groundbreaking ceremony, set for 11 a.m. today. Look below to see a graphic of the site and an IKEA release featuring more details.
Unfortunately, the event isn't open to the public. But according to Sherry Patten, community-affairs specialist for the City of Centennial, where the store is being built, there'll be plenty of dignitaries on hand, including IKEA-USA president Mike Ward and "a lot of the folks who were responsible for luring them here."
Although the vast majority of south metro residents with whom Patten has spoken are excited about IKEA finally coming to Colorado, she concedes that she's also heard the occasional person worry about the impact on traffic. But she doesn't think that's going to be a major issue.
"The traffic studies don't show that there will be that much of a problem," she says. "Maybe on opening weekend, but on a regular basis, probably not."
Indeed, Patten feels that the infrastructure around the store location is operating under capacity at present.
"The Centennial Promenade, which is not in the city but is right there at County Line Road next to I-25, initially had plans to build out a little more than they did," she notes, adding, "We've looked and looked at the traffic: We've been talking to the IKEA folks for at least two years, and there doesn't seem to be a problem. If there is, we'll do what we can -- put in right turn lanes here or through lanes there. We'll do whatever we need to do to more the traffic."
Until then, Patten sees an economic windfall -- not just 400 new jobs once the store opens in the fall of 2011, but also about 500 construction jobs. "That will certainly bring some tax receipts into the city's coffers," she points out, and the cash will likely continue flowing after the doors open due to pent-up demand.
"We had a visioning project some years ago, and the number-one store folks from the city at large wanted to lure to Centennial was IKEA," Patten says.
Now if we can only get our own In-N-Out Burger...
Look below to see the aforementioned site graphic and IKEA release:
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EXPANDING IN THE WEST, SWEDISH RETAILER IKEA BREAKS GROUND IN CENTENNIAL, CO ON DENVER-AREA STORE OPENING FALL 2011
CENTENNIAL, CO -- With company representatives, local officials and community leaders on-hand, IKEA, the world's leading home furnishings retailer, today officially broke ground for its future Denver-area store in Centennial, Colorado. Until IKEA Centennial opens in Fall 2011 as the 38th IKEA store in the U.S., customers from Colorado and beyond can shop at IKEA stores in Draper, UT and Tempe, AZ or at IKEA-USA.com.
The 415,000-square-foot IKEA Centennial, with approximately 1,500 parking spaces, will be built on 13.5 acres along the western side of Interstate 25 in the Park Meadows area, accessible from connections to Dry Creek Road and County Line Road exits. When it opens, the store will employ approximately 400 coworkers and reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide. Also, IKEA Centennial will be the first IKEA store in the U.S. to incorporate a geothermal component as part of its heating/cooling system, meaning heat will be pumped either from or into the ground, depending on the weather.
"This location will help us to bring our unique family-friendly shopping experience closer to more than 47,000 IKEA customers in Colorado, and to attract new customers from along the Front Range and beyond who value good design, good function and affordable prices," said Mike Ward, IKEA U.S. president.
The future IKEA Centennial will present nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, three model home interiors, approximately 50 room settings, a supervised children's play area, a 500-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features will include a 'Children's IKEA' area in the showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store. "We appreciate the reception by officials and community leaders here as we begin construction. It is exciting to see physical progress towards the future IKEA Centennial," added Doug Greenholz, IKEA U.S. real estate director.
Candidates interested in working at this employer of choice should look online at IKEA-USA.com, where they will be able to apply for diverse positions available in home furnishings sales, interior decoration, customer service, safety and security, cashiers, maintenance, goods flow, receiving, warehouse and stock replenishment. Also, setting itself apart from other retailers, IKEA Centennial will offer approximately 80 food service opportunities in its Restaurant, Swedish Foodmarket, Café Bistro and coworker cafeteria. The store also will result in 500 construction jobs and generate significant tax revenue for local governments and schools.
There currently are more than 300 IKEA stores in 38 countries, including 37 in the U.S. Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered a wide range of home furnishings and accessories of good design and function at low prices so the majority of the people can afford them. IKEA has been ranked in FORTUNE's annual "100 Best Companies to Work For" list, Working Mother magazine's annual list of "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" and Training magazine's annual "Top 100" ranking of companies that excel at human capital development. IKEA incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business, and continually supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment. For more information about IKEA, please go to IKEA-USA.com.